Interested in starting a New Generations program?
RI Youth Exchange Committee
Member Walter Wyser put together an information
packet on New Generations Exchange
that guides the reader through the history, basics and recommendations of
the program. The checklist below is an excerpt from this packet and can help
you start this program in your district or club. The information below is
based on teams of exchange participants, but could easily be modified for
individual participants. Please visit the following link for the full
|· Contact districts or clubs to evaluate interest.|
· Arrange for student selection by the district Youth Exchange committee and approval by the district governor or governor-elect.
· Appoint a responsible project leader, project committee, and regional coordinators.
· Plan exchange dates and durations.
· Decide who is visiting first and who will return the visit.
· Coordinate financial sponsorship and program support from districts and clubs, including overhead and transportation costs.
· Prepare two to three orientation events to thoroughly prepare participants.
· Arrange for screened host families (Rotarian or non-Rotarian) for the participants, in accordance with RI youth protection guidelines.
· Draft program details to be discussed with New Generations Exchange partners.
· Prepare applications that can be exchanged between partnering districts.
· Prepare teams or individuals to give presentations about their home country's culture or folklore to the receiving clubs. These can include national anthems, videos, or slides.
· Ask teams to wear matching clothes, such as blazers or T-shirts.
· Arrange for the printing of personal cards.
· Make inquiries about necessary health care measures, and ask a team member to be responsible for emergency medication.
· Communicate information about proper behavior and program rules.
· Prepare gifts, giveaways, and banners for host families and clubs.
· Book flights early to secure the best possible rates.
· Make sure visa regulations are followed and passport expiration dates are reviewed.
· Address risk-management procedures and participant insurance needs according to RI policy and the host district's request.
· Prepare an address list for the families in their home country. Include the phone number and address of an emergency contact person.
Ask a Youth Exchange officer
We asked Rotarian John Mensinger, Youth Exchange chair for District 5220 (California, USA), what he views as the benefits of participating in the Short-term program?
Short-term exchange offers students an introduction to another country, culture, language, and way of life that costs less and requires less time commitment than the long-term program. Short-term exchange is more accessible to most students from middle class families around the world. These international experiences are brief, yet are usually beneficial and life-changing. The friendships made can last a lifetime. Last year we had a family-to-family exchange, and here are comments from the parents of Shantel who went on short-term exchange to Italy:
"The experience for Shantel was one of the best times in her life. Her host family pretty much adopted her as their daughter, as well as we adopted Francisco as a son. He was such a joy to have and it was very hard to let him go home. The bond that Shantel has with the family and friends in Italy has been life-changing and a true blessing."
This program benefited the participants and their family and friends.
Short-term exchange is good for Rotary. Two of our alumnae have started
Interact Clubs in their local high schools. Many parents of short-term
exchange students have come to know and love Rotary and have joined their
Several years ago, District 5220 hosted ten students from a vocational high school in England. The students came from lower-middle class families, where only one in ten would be likely to advance to a university education. The Rotary organizer obtained grants from British and European agencies to finance their trip to California. The program content was modeled after Group Study Exchange, and the students met exceptional people during their three weeks in the U.S., including politicians, judges, professors, doctors, lawyers, and businessmen. The students grew in confidence and self esteem. The short-term exchange changed their lives for the better and provided memories that would last a lifetime.
Youth Exchange students contribute to Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge
Read the story below of how two Youth Exchange students raised funds for
Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge while celebrating their Chilean culture!
Horacio and Sofia are both from Chile, studying on long-term exchange in Minnesota, District 5960. They learned about Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge for polio and saw an opportunity to contribute in their own way. Thanks to the generosity of Rotarian David Franke, who offered to host the event at his house, approximately twenty Rotarians and friends were invited to a traditional Chilean dinner of empanadas to celebrate Chile's Independence Day. At the dinner, there was a basket on a table to collect contributions which would be directed to Polio Plus. For Horacio, this was a very personal endeavor as his uncle had contracted polio when he was a child in Chile, and had lived with its effects all his life.
Thanks to the efforts of Horacio and Sofia and the generosity of the Rotarians and friends in attendance, US$825 was raised for Polio Plus that night. Imagine the impact this type of event could have if replicated in every Rotary district, with Youth Exchange students from all over the world? Horacio and Sofia held another dinner to celebrate the Christmas holiday, which was just as successful as the first.
Consider working with your local Youth Exchange students to host a night of cultural diversity and polio awareness. If you need further information, please feel free to contact Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge staff at email@example.com
or learn more about Rotary's challenge
March as Rotary Literacy Month
In anticipation of Rotary Literacy Month in March, former Youth Exchange student champions Rotary
Miller grew up inspired by the volunteerism and dedication to service demonstrated by her father, a past president of the Van Wert club. She spent her senior year of high school in Baden, Austria, as a Youth Exchange student and says the network of Youth Exchange students in Europe provided a strong support system and became a second family to her. "Beyond just volunteerism, Rotary is really an international organization," she says. While serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Floresti, Moldova, Megan Miller realized her school lacked essential supplies and needed windows that could keep out extreme temperatures. As a former Rotary Youth Exchange student, she knew exactly where to turn and contacted the local Rotary Club of Chisinau (Moldova) and her father's Rotary Club of Van Wert (Ohio, USA). With help from a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant, the two clubs were able to secure the supplies and windows for the school.
Her exchange led her to spend a semester and multiple summers in Africa while she was in college. She joined the Peace Corps after graduating in 2004 and spent the next two years in Moldova. There she taught a life-skills class to 1st through 11th graders and worked with her fellow teachers to develop a new public health curriculum for all grades. She drew support from her parents, especially her mother, who is also a teacher.
When she discovered her school's needs, Miller turned to Rotary for help because of her past involvement with the organization and its commitment to service. Though it took some persistence, she successfully facilitated the partnership between the two clubs. "It took awhile to get the ball rolling, but it definitely paid off," says Miller. "I felt so indebted to both clubs for taking this on and getting us what we needed."
Now studying social work in graduate school in Boston, she says she's interested in joining a Rotary club in the future and continues to participate in projects back home.
Newly certified districts
Every two weeks, the list of noncertified districts is updated online
. Congratulations to District 4855 (Argentina) and 5260 (California, USA) for becoming certified to participate in Rotary Youth Exchange!
Youth Exchange Officers Preconvention Meeting
Also, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to serve as a leader at the YEO Preconvention meeting.
The Youth Exchange Officers Preconvention Meeting brings together Rotarians involved in the Youth Exchange program. The 2010 event will be held 18-19 June in Montréal, Québec, Canada, immediately before the RI Convention. The designated hotel for the meeting is the Delta Centre-Ville.
Upcoming Youth Exchange events
If you would like information on your national or international conference published in upcoming editions of this newsletter, please e-mail us at email@example.com
The 15th Annual Japan Youth Exchange Conference
15-16 May, 2010
Nishi-ku, Osaka, Japan
Osaka YMCA Conference Centre
Contact: Shindo Kondo
2010 Youth Exchange Officers Preconvention Meeting
Montréal, Québec, Canada
South Central Rotary Youth Exchange (SCRYE) 2010 Summer Conference
2010 EEMA Conference
Congress Hotel Seedamm Plaza
Questions and comments
Please send any questions, comments, or ideas for future issues of this newsletter to firstname.lastname@example.org.